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Monday, August 29, 2011

BAM! Getting slapped in the face...

Have you ever had one of those weeks? You know the ones I'm talking about. At the start it seems like it should be an easy, low stress week. But then BAM. From day one, it slaps you in the face. That was last week.

I'll spare you too many details and just give you a quick recap, which I'm sure won't do justice to the amount of stress the week's events created. Things started with a battle between our truck and a railroad crossing arm. You know the ones that come down to keep you from hanging out on the railroad tracks when a train is headed your way. And it wasn't my husband or myself driving the truck. I still haven't decided if that is making it harder or easier. All I know is that since we got the estimate to repair the damage, I get a sick feeling when I think about how much it will cost. Especially when I realize paying to fix the truck could pay for a trip to Disneyland instead.

My baby Bean starting preschool also hasn't been easy. In spite of how tough she was the first day, when Thursday came she cried when I left and then burst into tears again the moment she saw me at pick-up time. I am very much NOT looking forward to tomorrow morning.

My little Bean also got sick at the end of last week to add to the stress in her own little life. We were out of town, visiting my grandparents, so she ended up in a single bed with me with a miserable fever. We were both up off and on as her little body fought the infection.

Then there's my little Rowdy boy. On Wednesday I noticed his eye looked a little bloodshot. Then when I was running that afternoon, I kept hearing a strange noise and finally turned off my music. That funny noise was the little guy yelping every time he rubbed his eye. I called the eye specialist who he sees every six months for his cataracts - the reason he is almost blind - and she suggested I get a cone (of shame, as The Princess calls it) to get him through the night. Then we headed up to the office the next morning, where we found out Rowdy has an ulcer in one eye and his cataract has progressed and he now has glaucoma in the other eye. Initially the doctor said there was a good chance they would need to remove both eyes. So we spent the afternoon contemplating whether or not to have his eyes removed. Fortunately his eyes responded to medical treatment, and we are now administering seven different medications to him each day. But we find out Thursday if the meds are working like they should and what the next step will be. It has been hard to see him in so much pain and to feel so powerless to do anything about it.

Besides the bigger stresses of the week, there were other small things that happened and some crazy busy days thrown in to add to the chaos. I actually got up early to run several times, which is HUGE for me because I will take every minute of sleep I can get. But I can honestly say my runs helped me get through the week. And I am sure there will be more early morning runs in the future. It was actually really nice to start the day running and be able to cross that "to-do" off my list.

I capped off the week with another half marathon as a pacer. I paced the 2:20 group at the Utah Runner Girls Half Marathon. It was nice to run with very little pressure. I waved to all the runners and bikers I passed and made the most of it. Even with the hilly course, the 2:20 was an easy pace to maintain. I finished a little early, but I learned even more about how to keep an even pace and how to pace in general and look forward to doing it again in the future.

Julia took this pic of me in my Utah Race Pacers shirt just getting things started!

Julia and Rachelle ran it too. Be sure to read their race recaps. Julia ran with some friends, and Rachelle won the whole thing! Here are a few photos I stole from them because all my pics from the race are on the hubs' phone and he's at work.

Me, Julia & Rachelle

Needless to say, I was absent from the blog world for the most part last week. I really miss you guys. I feel so out of touch. But things are calming down and life is settling into a schedule and routine, so I'll be catching up soon.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Only Half Crazy: South Valley Half Marathon Race Report

We've been packing in the fun these last few days of summer before The Princess starts kindergarten next week. Bean started preschool today and said goodbye this morning without any tears. Probably good or I might have lost it. But it was fun to spend a little time with just The Princess, since that doesn't happen very often.

Anyhow, as far as running goes, I managed to pace the 2:15 group at the South Valley Half without any notable incidences or accidents, so I am considering pacing again in the (possibly near) future. The course was off a little, so when I thought it was going to be short 2/10ths of a mile, I slowed down. I was worried I would finish two or three minutes early, based on my time, and the goal was to be within a minute of the pace time. When I passed the mile 12 sign, it still looked like the course would be short. But when my watch hit 13.1 miles, I still couldn't see the finish line. When I finished, my watch said 13.23 miles, 2:16:44. Most of the other pacers ended up with similar results, so I tried not to be too disappointed in the result.

In spite of it getting warm towards the end and a tough course with 3+ continuous miles of uphill (I just told myself the hills were good practice for St. George), I had a lot of fun and would certainly do the race again. It was a smaller race than the last few I have done, so it would be fun to see how I could do if I really ran it.

As far as pacing goes, it wasn't too bad holding the sign the entire time except in the last few miles when it got windy and my thumb got tired from holding the sign so it wouldn't hit me in the head. But the sign also came in handy to block the sun during a lot of the race. I was a little worried about wearing a shirt I'd never worn before, but I didn't notice it at all. And the bright yellow made it easy to pick me out in the race photos.

I changed back into my own shirt before I took pics with Blaine (who is off the hook since I didn't crash and burn) and Whitney (an awesome blogger who won her race entry through my blog), otherwise Blaine and I would have been twinners in this pic:

Blaine, Whitney & Me

I have to say this race has one of the COOLEST logos. Both the medal and the shirt are awesome! And thanks again to Aly for letting me be a part of such a great race.

Friday, August 19, 2011

My Tommie Boys

My long run will not only be a little shorter tomorrow at 13.1 miles, but it will also be a lot slower. I am pacing the 2:15 group at the South Valley Half Marathon tomorrow. I'm still not sure why I said I would do it, but I did. If I end up a terrible mess of a runner, I will blame Blaine.

It makes me feel a little better that I can run it 23 minutes slower than I ran my last half marathon. But I'm a little nervous about holding a sign for over two hours. And I'm not a big talker while I run - one of the reasons running solo suits me, so it could be interesting if someone wants to chat for 13.1 miles.

So tomorrow I'll need an entirely different kind of luck when I line up at the start. If you happen to be running the race, look for me and come say hi! I'll be the blonde wearing a bright green pacer shirt, holding the 2:15 pacer sign.

And now, since I never got around to my Things I Love Thursday yesterday because I was too busy getting my tempo run done and basking in the glory of not finding yet another excuse to put it off, I'll tell you about something I have been loving today! Here's a hint:

I received a pair of Tommie Copper calf sleeves and a pair of knee sleeves a few weeks ago. I have been wearing the calf sleeves almost every day since, and I love them. I have two other brands of compression socks and calf sleeves, and I have always loved how they make my legs feel after I run. But there are a few things that are quickly making the Tommie Coppers my favorite. First is how lightweight they are. I can even wear them under jeans without getting too hot, which is a first. Honestly, I don't even notice they are there. I have also worn then on a few of my longer runs, especially when my shins have been a little sore, and they have made a huge difference in how my legs feel during and after my runs.

I also like that the compression is not so tight that I can hardly get them on, but it is just tight enough to do its job. And the silky smooth fabric helps them slide right on.
According to the Tommie Copper web site, here are some of the things that make the compression sleeves so perfect (at least for me):
... all Tommie Copper products are manufactured using a proprietary compression fabric combined with copper infused yarn that by design is so comfortable you may forget you are wearing it.

Copper stimulates the immune system to fight infections, repair injured tissues, and promote healing. Copper also helps to neutralize "free-radicals" which can cause severe damage to cells.

I also tried the knee sleeves. I have never really liked longer compression shorts because I don't like anything tight on the back of my legs just above my knees. I found the same thing to be true with the knee sleeves. I tried wearing them during they day several times, but always ended up taking them off pretty quickly. Yet I don't notice them as much when I sit still or lie down, so I wear my Tommie Copper knee sleeve to bed when my knee bothers me. And every time I have worn a knee sleeve to bed, my knee has been happy the next morning.

So if you are a fan of compression or have been thinking about trying it out, you should head on over to the Tommie Copper web site. In addition to calf and knee sleeves, there are ankle and elbow sleeves, gloves and compression shirts. You can also find Tommie Copper on Facebook and Twitter.

*Tommie Copper generously provided the knee and calf sleeves for free in exchange for my unbiased review.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Running from Tempo

Saturday's 20 miles were great. Runs like that are what keep me from bailing on marathon training and sitting home on marathon day. I finished in 3:11:40, a 9:34 pace. When I finished, I told the hubs I could have run another 6.2 if I had to, although I'm sure it helped that I had my own little race crew for the last five miles. At 15 miles, I stopped to fill up my handheld at a convenience store and my family met me there. It was perfect timing because I needed a little pick-me-up after two miles of running into the sun and against some serious wind.

Then my fam surprised me and met me every mile after that. It was awesome to look forward to my own little cheering squad, and the hubs had ice cold water and pieces of ice that got me through the last three miles. Although I was hydrated with more than 32 ounces of Powerade, I was totally craving cold water.

After my girls cheered me across the imaginary finish line, we headed over to watch the BYU football team at an open practice. Once we were too hot and the Bean had said "let's go" too many times, we headed to the water park. It was a pretty perfect Saturday!

This week's "long" run will be a little shorter. I have the South Valley Half on Saturday. But there are still three runs before then, and one of them is a tempo run. Last week, I loved every minute of my speed intervals. I have always loved speedwork, but tempo runs are a different story. There is no love there.

I know a lot of it is mental because this week's workout is 5 miles at what happens to be my half marathon pace. If I have run 13.1 at that pace, why does 5 scare me so much? You'd be amazed at how many excuses I can come up with to avoid a tempo run. But there will be no avoiding it this week. It will be done.

What are your tricks or tips for getting through a tempo run? Maybe I'll have to make this my new tempo run mantra:

Picture stolen from Fast Cory's blog

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Booty Shakin'

The winner (chosen by of the random giveaway was comment #27, the amazing Miss Zippy. Please send your mailing info to, and I'll get your stuff on its way.

And so the rest of you don't go away without a smile, here's a little booty shake for you, courtesy of Bean:

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

80s Movies Rock My Runs

Did I watch Girls Just Want to Have Fun while I ran ten miles on Saturday? Yes I did. Did it have a crazy amount of 80s stereotypes in the first 15 minutes? Another yes. Was it pure awesome entertainment? Another big YES. I might have to make classic 80s movies a long run staple.

Seriously, how can you resist a movie with these lines in it:

Velcro. Next to the Walkman and Tab it is the coolest invention of the 20th Century!

Janey: Do you have a date or something?
Lynne: No I wish, I just know I must be horny.

He's a boy and he's alive, what's there to hate?

Whenever I'm in a room with a guy, no matter who it is - a date my dentist, anybody - I think, 'If we were the last two people on Earth, would I puke if he kissed me?'

What is your favorite 80s movie? And it doesn't matter if you weren't born until the late 80s or even the 90s, you can't tell me you haven't seen The Breakfast Club, Say Anything, Ferris Bueller's Day Off or Better Off Dead. And if you can, it's time to hit the video store or update your Netflix queue because you are missing out.

Now here are some more answers to your questions...

Running Ricig said...
Did you always love Millie as much as you do now? At first, Millie was just a necessary evil. Even with a jogging stroller, I couldn't run with my girls when it was too cold or too hot. So I got a treadmill. I grew to like it, and then I fell in love. My Letter To My Treadmill post was really the turning point.

Are you as much fun in real life as you seem on your blog? Apparently I have you fooled.

Julia said...
How do you keep that love for the TM going? Can you please share some of it? :) My ten mile run on Saturday was a reminder of why the treadmill is so great. I watched an entire movie while running, made four trips to the potty (15 feet away), and turned the A/C down so it was blowing on me almost the entire run. What isn't there to love?

What's your favorite thing to do with your girls? My favorite thing with my girls is bedtime. And not because it's bedtime. But because it is my guaranteed one-on-one time with my girls every day. They are quiet and calm and snuggly. First I read, rock and sing with my Bean. Then it's The Princess's turn, only we read, sing and then I snuggle her in her bed while she talks about the random things from her day. When Bean was born, we were going to have them share a room, but Bean is a light sleeper and The Princess talks in her sleep (a lot), so that wasn't going to work. We might reconsider it as they get older, but then bedtime would be a group activity and I would really miss that mom and me time.

Favorite summer time activity? Seven Peaks water park has been one of our favorite activities this year because the girls are finally old enough to enjoy it! I also love pushing my girls on the swings in the backyard, which happens almost every day. It is so fun to listen to their little thoughts and conversations while they swing.

Can we hang out soon? I see another trip to Yogurtland in my near future. But we might want to sit outside this time so we can hear each other.

Fair Weather Runner said...
Favorite trashy useless tv show (if you have one) and/or, what's your guilty pleasure? Bethenney Ever After is my guilty pleasure show, although I only watch about 10-15 minutes at a time while I roll or ice my muscles. And my guilty pleasure? Reading running blogs. I usually should be doing something else, but I just can't resist.

Rachelle Wardle said...
What is your favorite distance to run? 13.1 Probably good since I'll have finished at least five by the end of the year.

How do you stay so stinking skinny and so cute? I don't think of myself as skinny. And I honestly would be a lot heavier if I didn't run. I gained 25+ pounds in college, and I'm sure that number would have continued to climb if I hadn't done something about it.

What is your favorite restaurant? I tried to pick one, but I couldn't do it. I love good Italian or Mexican (not much of that around here). Carrabbas is yummy. And I have Cafe Rio almost once a week, so that says something. I love food too much to play favorites though.

Favorite post run fuel? Chocolate milk!!

Today is the last day to enter my giveaway! Winner announced tomorrow.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Friends and Guests

One of my favorite things about running is the friends I have made. Yesterday, I met these awesome girls at Yogurtland (of course):

Rachelle, Julia, Ash, Jen & Me

And today I went to lunch with Alicia. I didn't think to take a picture, probably because it felt nothing like a blogger meet-up and everything like lunch with a friend, and I don't typically take pictures when I got to lunch with a friend.

One thing both outings had in common: my girls. They got to tag along. Everyone is always so nice to put up with them, especially because my kids aren't always the most patient kids in the world. And the less patient they get, the more they like to bug each other. Fun stuff.

Yesterday I mentioned I took part in The Great Big Bloggy Post Exchange. (You can read my post HERE.) Today you get to meet Deanne of I Am Not a Runner and enjoy her great post:

So, you’ve made the decision to start getting in shape… good for you! I made that decision two years ago, after my second child was born. One year after my third child was born, I am in the best shape of my life and I weigh ten pounds less now than before I had my first child. I ran my first half-marathon in May and just finished my first triathlon. I’m not here to lecture anyone or chastise anyone’s lifestyle — I was there. I was lazy, never exercised consistently and was on yo-yo diets. So how did I do it? Here are a few of my tips:

1. Find something you enjoy doing. For me, it was running. I had never run in my life, other than when I had to. My husband had been cycling a lot, and to cross-train he decided to start running (he had run in high school). A friend of mine decided she was going to take a 5k training class, so I decided I might want to try it too. For you it could be swimming, running, walking, cycling, yoga, Zumba (a sort of dance/aerobic exercise) or any number of things.

2. Get a training partner, if you can. My friend attended the class, while I trained myself on the treadmill. We would compare notes on how our training was going, and seeing her progress pushed me to increase mine.

3. Get a goal for yourself. Whether it’s weight loss, BMI, body fat percentage, a certain distance, etc. Have a goal that you want to accomplish.

4. Have a training plan. Plans are available online for free or for a small cost, depending on what your goal is. See a personal trainer at a gym. Have a plan that forces you to do a certain distance or time each day or each week. If you have a plan to get you to your goal, you are more likely to stick to it. Put your training time on your schedule. Do what works for you -- first thing in the morning, lunchtime, right after work, after the kids are in bed -- whatever works for your schedule.

5. Go out of your comfort zone. Push yourself to go further than you think you can go. Even if it’s little by little. I started off not being able to run more than a ¼ of a mile. This month, I am scheduled to run in my first half marathon. I’ve completed 12 miles in training, but not without a little anguish. If I hadn’t stepped out of my comfort zone and do what I thought I was not capable of doing, I could not have come this far.

By no means do I think that I am an expert on fitness. Many people have asked for my “story,” and I thought I would just give my advice … and like they say, please check with your doctor before beginning any fitness or exercise plan.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Things I Love Thursday - Maple Bars & PJs

Before I get to (some of) your questions, I wanted to let you know I participated Paula's (aka "P" @ Adventures of an Average Athlete) Great Big Bloggy Post Exchange. My post appeared today on Laura's Boise-full Life. It has been fun to find some great new blogs and get to know some new blogging runners. So once you are done finding out some fascinating stuff about me here, head on over to Laura's blog to "Be Inspired" cuz I'm not sure the answers to your questions will qualify as inspiration.

Christy said...
What do love most about running and what do you hate most about it? It's hard to pick one thing I love, but it is probably the challenge. I still have times, like when I looked in the mirror at myself at 3:30 am before my last race, when I wonder Who am I? and can then answer it with I am a runner. I love that I am doing something I never thought I could or would do. As far as hating goes, I don't really hate anything about it. If there is one thing I could change, it would be my post-run stomach issues. But at least they always wait until I'm finished running!

What is you favorite pre workout fuel? I haven't mastered that yet. Might be part of the stomach problems. Before my races lately, I've gotten takeout from a pasta place. I get bow tie pasta with half meat sauce/half Alfredo. Before a regular run, it's usually just whatever we have for dinner because I run after my girls go to bed.

What are your favorite pajamas? These:

Do you think maple bars or bear claws are better? Maple bars. Especially maple bars from Krispie Kreme.

misszippy said...
If you couldn't run, what sport would you do instead? I don't do sports. I am afraid of flying balls and took Spanish dance in high school to avoid PE class. Although I really enjoyed Powder Puff football my senior year of high school, come to think of it. I don't think I would be playing football though. I have to say it would probably be cycling. I started running because it was something I could do with my girls and I can say the same thing about cycling. But I can't imagine loving my stationary bike like I love Millie.

I know your kids are young--are you finished or will you have more? In spite of the fact that The Princess begs for a baby brother, I am finished. I'm sure it would be a girl if we had another one anyway, so I'm just saving her the disappointment.

Christi said...
This is my standard question...Brad Pitt or George Clooney? Oooo, that's a tough one. Once upon a time, I would have said Brad Pitt without a moment of hesitation. But I'm starting to lean more toward George these days. Does that mean I'm getting older or just smarter?

That's it for now. Gotta get my girls to bed. More answers to come...

Get some GU and other stuff

I lied. I have too much going on with work (and play) to answer your questions today. So you'll have to wait until tomorrow. That means you get tomorrow's planned post today instead. And it's a giveaway! Here's what you get:

  • Runnerd Sticker (of course)

  • Raspberry PowerBar Energy Blasts

  • Lemon Lime GU Brew

  • Apple-Cinnamon Hammer Gel

  • Strawberry GU Chomps

  • Brooks Playing Cards

  • LiveSTRONG Bracelet (youth size but it fits me and most women)

It's just a fun, random giveaway because my readers are so awesome. Here's how you can enter to win:

  • Follow my blog. Leave a comment telling me you do. (1 entry)
  • Follow me on Facebook and/or Twitter. Leave another comment telling me where you follow. (1 entry)
  • Blog, Tweet or Facebook about this giveaway. Leave a comment telling me you did. (Up to 3 entries)

The giveaway will end on Wednesday, August 10.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Race Report: Timpanogos Half Marathon 2011

I ran the Timpanogos Half Marathon on Saturday. I was a little unsure of what to expect of myself in the days leading up to the race. After being sick for over a week and two short runs on Wednesday and Thursday that were more difficult than normal because I still had a cough and congestion, I was afraid to even set any goals. Of course I wanted to PR, and a sub-1:55 would have been even more awesome, but I didn't set out with either of those goals solidified in my mind because I still wasn't feeling 100% when I went to bed Friday night. I did, however, get to bed at 8 pm, so I knew at least I would be fairly well rested.

The 5:40 am start time meant I rolled out of bed at 3:20 am. Because the hubs is working nights, the babysitter got there at 4 am. One of the best things about the race was how close to home it was. It took less than 10 minutes to get to the parking lot, where I met Julia, Rachelle, Becky and Alisha.

Me, Julia, Becky & Alisha

On my third trip to the potty, the gun went off (while I was inside). Luckily the start was close to the port-o-potties, so I got out there and started. Gotta love chip timing!

The course was beautiful and just downhill enough to be fast but not painful. It was shady and overcast the entire race. It was cool but not cold at the start and it never got too hot. It was really ideal in almost every way.

There were a few times I felt like I couldn't get a deep enough breath and there were several runners that looked startled when had to clear my throat, but my lingering cold didn't seem to affect me too much overall. During the race, I carried my handheld full of PowerAde. I walked through every other aid station and drank a cup of water. Sometime within the last five miles, I caught up to Blaine who was pacing the 1:55 group. I quickly introduced myself and then said I hoped to beat his pace time and waved goodbye. About mile 10, I realized I never used my energy gel and decided it probably wasn't worth it at the point. With three miles to go, I knew there was a good chance I would PR if I could maintain around a 9-minute pace. With two miles to go, I knew I could run a 10-minute pace and still PR. So I slowed down.

What??? That's exactly what I thought as I hit the final mile. Why did I slow down if I didn't need to? My IT band was actually doing pretty well considering all the downhill. My legs were tired but not beat. And I felt good mentally. So I kicked it back into gear to finish strong. And I did, with a three and a half minute PR.

1:52:39 chip time
38/148 in my age group
165/721 female

Julia, Me, Rachelle

Julia finished just after me and we exchanged a sweaty congratulatory hug since she got an awesome PR too. Then we ran into Rachelle, who ran an amazing race.

Not much of a race report, but it was a great race and one that I will certainly do again. I will have more about my thoughts during the race in a guest post later this week, so I'll be sure to let you know when and where that appears.

Also check back tomorrow for answers to your burning questions. You still have time to ask if there is something you are dying to know.

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